Synth Newbie Question on Sequencers

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DesertRatt
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Synth Newbie Question on Sequencers

Post by DesertRatt » Sat Jul 18, 2020 1:47 am

Hi Folks,

I'm an old geezer who has just discovered the SYNTH (better late than never). For the past years I've been doing my guitar recordings on a TASCAM 424 Mk II. I began adding some keyboards and I have a drum machine, and then I kind of stumbled into the synth idea by accident. Anyway, I jumped right into a Behringer Model D and an Alesis Q49.

Ok, I'm loving learning that synth, but right off the bat I see a need for a sequencer----I think. When I began to look, I see most sequencers are part of a MIDI controller KB - which I already have. So, I wonder if I know what a sequencer is?

1. I assumed it collects and stores MIDI commands, like key presses, and then permits you to play them back, repeat them, etc. A little bit the way my BOSS Looper works on analog audio, but it works on MIDI data instead. Is that about it?

2. If so, I'd like to find a simple sequencer that would work with my existing setup. A sort of add-on box.
I definitely don't want to use a PC/DAW for any part of my recording process. I like to wire up everything to my cassette recorders.

3. I probably should NOT have bought the Q49, and I guess if I have to I'll resell it, if the best solution is a "sequencer/controller."

Any thoughts?

RobustAmerican
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Re: Synth Newbie Question on Sequencers

Post by RobustAmerican » Sun Jul 19, 2020 8:03 pm

Yes, you have the concept correct. Sequencers come in all shapes and sizes but one of the simplest and cheapest is the Korg SQ-1. Limited but still very fun.

Check this link for a pretty good run down of the current offerings...
https://www.wirerealm.com/guides/top-10-best-sequencers

Things to look for:
Records midi in real time or step by step? You want both.
Easy transposing of the recorded sequence on the fly.
Sounds like you wanna record parameter changes as well as notes so make sure the sequencer can record midi controller commands/changes (CCs) or NRPNs. NRPN use a higher resolution and usually not as easy to deal with for most sequencers. CCs are more common and should get you where your headed just fine.

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meatballfulton
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Re: Synth Newbie Question on Sequencers

Post by meatballfulton » Sun Jul 19, 2020 9:09 pm

DesrtRatt, the Model D doesn't support any CCs so don't worry about that right away ;)

If you want to sequence full songs for recording purposes, something like the SQ-1 is inadequate. Nowhere near enough storage. Good for single bar loops at best.

RobustAmerican, I hope you aren't the author of the Wirerealm article because it is full of major factual inaccuracies :?
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DesertRatt
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Re: Synth Newbie Question on Sequencers

Post by DesertRatt » Sun Jul 19, 2020 9:28 pm

Yes, I want to sequence a whole song part, so that I can play it back while adding another part.

Considering the Model D is probably the only synth I'll use, any suggestions would be appreciated!
Thanks all!

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Re: Synth Newbie Question on Sequencers

Post by Ashe37 » Sun Jul 19, 2020 9:43 pm

I'd argue in favor of the Beatstep Pro. It will likely be adequate.

DesertRatt
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Re: Synth Newbie Question on Sequencers

Post by DesertRatt » Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:54 am

Regarding the BeatStep Pro, I'm giving it a good look - - thanks.

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Hyde
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Re: Synth Newbie Question on Sequencers

Post by Hyde » Wed Jul 22, 2020 7:38 am

Back when sequencers were new, there were stand alone sequencers that did just that. Sequence loops & songs. I found one at Goodwill or $7 & sold it on reverb for over $100 I still see them pop up on Craigslist every so often. You can also look for an older synth/workstation with sequencer. But, be aware. Sometimes sequencers don't really do much that is really productive. A little research goes a long way. I have an Ensoniq SQ1 that has a great sequencer. I picked it up for $20. It needed a key replaced & a new battery. I see them in good shape for $150, pretty regularly. There are many workstations, of varying values & usability on the used market. The more advanced option is computer software. Personally I think the advanced Ensoniq sequencers were about as musical as anything made. I use the ASR10. The same basic sequencer was used in the EPS, EPS16 & many of the higher end synth/workstations Ensoniq produced, at the time. Really, if a sequencer is your ambition, my best advice to to make sure it has a storage option. The SQ1 series of synths can export information VIA midi (Sys-Ex transfer). That can be a pain, in comparison to some type of disk or hard disk storage. But, it can work. & it does hold a fair bit of information, before you will need to back up your work &make room for more songs. Kurzweil also made some great worktations, starting with the K2000.
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Re: Synth Newbie Question on Sequencers

Post by A Robust American » Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:33 pm

meatballfulton wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 9:09 pm
DesrtRatt, the Model D doesn't support any CCs so don't worry about that right away ;)

If you want to sequence full songs for recording purposes, something like the SQ-1 is inadequate. Nowhere near enough storage. Good for single bar loops at best.

RobustAmerican, I hope you aren't the author of the Wirerealm article because it is full of major factual inaccuracies :?
Not the author. Sorry for the lame link. I just scanned it quickly to see what units it covered. Also had to create a new account here as something bad happened to the original. :shock:

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